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People of the State of Illinois v Weddell

Case No. 2-09-0543 (IL Dist. 2 App., Oct. 26, 2010)

Following a bench trial, defendant, Ronald W. Weddell, was convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) (625 ILCS 5/11--501(a)(1), (a)(2) (West 2006)) and sentenced to two years' probation. Defendant appeals, arguing that he was deprived of his right to a speedy trial because: (1) the State's nolle prosequi of misdemeanor DUI charges did not toll the speedy-trial term, as the State later refiled identical charges; and (2) the trial court occasioned a delay when it did not immediately reassign the case to another judge following defendant's motion for substitution of judge. We affirm.

A. Underlying Offense
During the early morning of May 17, 2007, Bartlett police officer Jim Zefo received a dispatch concerning a reckless driver (i.e., defendant) in a blue van near the intersection of Route 59 and Stearns Road. Zefo noticed defendant stopped at a train crossing. When the train passed, defendant accelerated to speeds of 80 to 90 miles per hour in a 50-mile-per-hour zone. Zefo activated his overhead lights but defendant continued to drive for another half mile. Defendant finally stopped at a red light.Zefo approached defendant's vehicle. Defendant remained in the vehicle but spoke to Zefo through an open window. According to Zefo, defendant smelled of alcohol and his eyes were red, bloodshot, and glassy. Against Zefo's orders, defendant put a mint in his mouth, presumably to obscure the scent of alcohol. Zefo then directed defendant to produce his license and insurance, but defendant refused and drove away from the scene. Zefo lost contact with defendant. However, Zefo released a dispatch sending other officers to look for defendant.

St. Charles police officer Michael Ross received Zefo's dispatch. He located a van matching the description of defendant's van in a garage located in St. Charles. Ross knocked on the door of the adjoining home, and defendant's wife opened the door. Ross searched the property, ultimately finding defendant in a playhouse in the backyard. Defendant emerged from the playhouse and walked toward his wife in a threatening manner. Ross placed defendant in the squad car, and defendant kicked the rear driver's side window, causing the glass to crack in a web pattern across the entire window.


Judge(s): Ann Jorgensen
Jurisdiction: Illinois Court of Appeals, Second District
Related Categories: Constitutional Law , Criminal Justice
Circuit Court Judge(s)
Michael Burke
Susan Hutchinson
Ann Jorgensen
Ronald Sutter



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